As a tale is as old as time, traveling and discovering the world has been a universally renowned, bucket list worthy venture craved by everyone who has the thirst for knowledge and experience. There’s nothing like a trip to a foreign country to meet new people, experience unique cultures and traditions, and try new cuisine. And as the new century brought you the Internet, portable Wi-Fi, and eventually smartphones, traveling has never been as easy as it is today. But this is not to say that it is something you can do without proper preparation and planning. Only the most experienced travelers can hop on a plane heading towards a foreign country, without any advanced research, and survive to tell a stress-free tale of their travels. In fact, it can be extremely dangerous to travel without planning. You are leaving yourself in a vulnerable position if you do not prepare for a trip. Luckily, planning for a trip is pretty straightforward to do. If this is your first time planning for a trip, this is all you’ll need to make the most out of every second of your travels.
How to plan for a trip
Watch vlogs and read blogs: take notes
Get a good sense of what your destination has to offer. A place is almost never what it seems. There’s always so much more than your initial impression. And the best experiences always come from the unique and unexpected. The great thing about the Internet is that it has given millions of people all around the world, an avenue to share information. And this means an abundance of sources online that can help you know exactly what to expect. Read the blogs and watch the vlogs all about your destination and take notes.
What notes to take:
- Restaurants you want to try
- Food markets you can find
- Locations of sights and/or buildings you want to see
- Important information/notes about transportation
- Cultural gestures and practices you need to be aware of
- Best places to stay
Plan where you’ll stay: have a map handy
Once you have a good idea of the best places to eat and all of the places you want to visit, it’s a good time to find a place to stay. To make it easier on yourself when you’re on your trip, keep these tips in mind when looking for a place to stay:
Tips to find a place to stay:
- Near transportation – Find a place that’s near the most convenient mode of transportation. Whether it’s through a train system, buses, or taxis, make it a point that you book a place that’s near public transportation to not only save you time every day, but just to make your trip a lot easier on yourself.
- Near cheap restaurants/food markets – Unless you’re staying in a hotel with room service that you are more than happy to order from every day, then it’s best to find a place that’s close to food markets or restaurants. This gives you the chance to have an early breakfast before you start every day, and the chance to have dinner and immediately go home to rest after. Easily accessible food is always a must!
- Tourist friendly areas – It’s difficult to find yourself somewhere that’s not exactly built for tourists. Look for places that are tourist friendly to make everyday transactions a lot easier for yourself.
- Near the places you want to see – Try to stay somewhere that’s close to as many of the listed places that you want to go to. The closer you are, the easier and cheaper your transportation will be.
Plan your transportation to and from the airport
It’s always better to plan or book your ride from the airport, to where you’ll be staying throughout the duration of your trip before you take your flight. Around airports, public transportation can get very expensive. And it’s always the best idea to do your research on what options you have for transportation from and to the airport. This will save you from overspending on overpriced transportation, and also give you a good idea of what to expect when you get there.
Be financially prepared
Having the right amount of cash with you is really important when you travel. And by the ‘right amount’, this means enough for all of your activities, food, and transportation, but not too much that you can become the target of theft. Give yourself a daily budget according to the average cost of your meals, transportation, and added expenses. And as much as possible, bring enough cash with a little-added allowance for emergencies. It’s important to take note that you can bring a debit or credit card, but that you can’t rely on the bank systems to effectively work wherever you go.
Traveling can be everything you want it to be if you plan ahead. Buy yourself a little notebook and make brief notes on everything you’ll need for your trip. This will help you maximize every minute you have on your trip, and help you save money as well.